Career Stagnation: Underlying Dilemmas and Solutions in Contemporary Work Environments

  • Andrea E. Abele
  • Judith Volmer
  • Daniel Spurk
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


Employment and career development are important goals in most people’s life. People have to pursue an employment in order to earn their living, but employment is much more than that. It can be both a source of satisfaction and of dissatisfaction. A successful career makes a person proud and happy; failure in one’s career has an impact on self-esteem and makes a person unhappy. The present chapter is concerned with career stagnation, i.e., the involuntary – at least temporary – end of one’s career development. We will cover two major reasons for career stagnation and the dilemmas underlying them. The one has to do with the lack of career opportunities resulting from individual and interpersonal factors (self-efficacy issues, goal issues, attitudinal issues, and dual-career issues) the other has to do with career stagnation resulting from organizational conditions (socialization/support/mentoring, bullying/mobbing, and stereotypes/discrimination).After describing these dilemmas and their consequences, we will address interventions that may help to resolve them in order to increase people’s quality of life (self-efficacy and self-management trainings, career counseling, mentoring, anti-mobbing/anti-bullying interventions, recruitment strategies for dual-career couples, and antidiscrimination strategies). Throughout this chapter, we will refer to unethical behavior as the injury of the employees’ rights of balance, respect, responsibility, autonomy, participation, justice, and voice. Finally, we will discuss directions of future research into career stagnation.


Unethical Behavior Organizational Citizenship Behavior Diversity Management Career Counseling Career Satisfaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Psychology GroupUniversity of Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany

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